A View from the Turret

The Future of Infrastructure Support

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, South Northants Volunteer Bureau and Daventry Volunteers have been in discussion with West Northamptonshire Council about the future of Infrastructure Support for the sector.Like most other areas of community-related work, a new contract will be open for Expressions of Interest in March of 2024, and again, like most other areas of VSCE support it’s likely to be financially less than is needed.This means that the way in which Infrastructure Support is delivered will probably need to change.The key areas of focus are:Ensuring that the Local Infrastructure Organisations remain a credible and reliable conduit of Representation and Voice for the sector.Ensuring that Local Infrastructure focuses on the support needs of micro and smaller organisations.Ensuring that Infrastructure focuses on Funding and Fundraising for micro and smaller organisations.Ensuring that Placed Based Volunteering remains a viable option for individuals.Whilst we at VIN have yet to think through the full ramifications of these changes, it does mean that we will focus all of our efforts on supporting the Power of Small Network that we began last year. And here’s the rub, on the funding available supporting an entire sector is nigh on impossible.Our training and resources will have to focus on Funding and Fundraising, and there is likely to be less subject choice available within our programme.It also means that the traditional form of Face to Face training might be replaced with Webinars and Podcasts, for viewing when smaller organisations have the time. VIN is aware of the capacity and resource issues faced by micro or smaller groups, so this might not necessarily be a negative change-point.And on volunteering, we will continue to broker as best as we can, but our emphasis will be on Local Area Partnerships and the Volunteering issues which derive from Place Based Solutions.VIN is entering into its next Strategic Planning Phase, simply because we have to. In these rapidly changing times, no organisation can afford to sit on its laurels. We are engaging with as many stakeholders as possible about how we can best support our sector, so please take 10 minutes to complete our survey which you can access byclicking here